Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Axe Estuary Wetlands

About 15 of us attended a meeting of the East Devon Birders at the Axe Estuary Wetlands today. Although the weather was a bit gloomy & chilly at first, we did have a bit of sunshine for a minute or two & more importantly, no rain. There was also a meeting of another birding group from Taunton, so we set off to start at Colyford Common so that we wouldn't be fighting for space.
Heading for Colyford Common. 
The group split into 2, half of us went to the platform & half to the hide. The birds were a bit thin on the ground, but I did get a 'first' for a birding trip. A bit of advice for anyone that lives next to a bird reserve….don't get out of the bath/ shower & stand in front of the French windows to dry off! I didn't manage to find the bird that had just landed in the top of a tree, but saw rather more than I wanted to in the house behind! We then swapped places & went to the hide where we saw a Green Sandpiper, Curlew, Black-tailed Godwit, Lapwing & Stonechat.
Outside the hide at Colyford Common
We couldn't see the other half of the group at the platform, so assumed they'd headed back towards the information centre without us. However, when we got there & looked back towards Colyford Common, we discovered that they had in fact been in the reed beds & it was us that had left them behind! We added Snipe to the list,  made use of the excellent new toilet facilities, passed the Taunton group that was now heading for the Common & headed to Black Hole Marsh. Again, it was very quiet. There were a few Swallows & a Buzzard overhead, one Ruff, one Dunlin, some Oystercatchers, Lapwing & Teal.
The platform at Black Hole Marsh
After a spell in the Island Hide, lunch called & we headed back to the car park. About half of us then went back to the Tower Hide, where there was a bit more action. Several Water Rails made fleeting appearances, or one was moving about a lot! There was a nice Grey Plover, Redshank, Black-tailed Godwit, Curlew, Wigeon, Little Grebe & a very obliging Kingfisher. There were also lots of gulls on the estuary, mostly Black-headed, with a few Great Black-backed & a Med.

The Axe from the Tower Hide
I finished with 52 species for the day, plus a possible Cetti's Warbler in the reeds on the way back to the car park. A very pleasant day.

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